Friday, June 19, 2009
Just Another Day Without Water
As if finding a snake in my house this week, and having to replace the well pressure tank just a month ago is not enough to make me have doubts about the house I live in and love, today was just another day of the trials of living in a house built in 1925.
Today started as any other day. Since I didn't run the dishwasher last night (put Rid-X in the toilet to maintain the septic tank), I started it up first thing this morning. I did my normal everyday things, watered the dog, used the bathroom on several occasions, used plenty of water first thing this morning. Well, I decided that I needed to cut the grass while the rain decided to stop for at least the day. I was cutting the grass, and my belt on the riding mower fell off. I put the belt back on, and then went to use the push mower for some hills. Started it up fine, actually my 6 yr old started it up on the first pull. Started to cut the grass....it stopped. Tried and tried as I might to get it to start back up, it acted like no gas was getting to the carburetor. Yes, there was a full tank of gas. This happened another time, so I drained the fuel tank, made sure the fuel lines were not clogged. Called my boyfriend (a mechanic), explained the situation, asked about the air filter. He agreed that the air filter could be dirty, all I needed to do was to wash it out, dry it, and then put oil on the filter and replace the filter. So, I take the filter out, and decide to wash it outside. Turn on the spigot....no water. I used that spigot earlier in the day, so maybe it was a fuse. Go down stairs and check the fuses to the water pump....all are OK. I did change the fuse, just in case (old screw in type fuses....remember house built in 1925). I even checked the breaker box, flipped the breaker, just in case...no luck. The pressure gauge on the well is reading a big fat ZERO. No pressure, therefore the pump should be kicking on....no luck. I wiggle the pressure switch and check the pressure switch, looks like it is engaged, so the pump should be coming on...no luck.
Gotta call a plumber.
I am handy, but I know my limitations. So I called a few friends that are plumbers (the kids go to school with a lot of contractors), and a plumber is at my house within 30minutes of finding out that I had no water.
Well, I need a new well pump. It doesn't really surprise me, after all, all the other things in the house (heater, water heater, etc) were 30+ years old, and the water pump was probably no different. What really surprises me is how shallow my well is. This was the second of a few surprises for the plumbers. The first shock was the fact that my well is in the basement of my house. That alone caused a change in tactics. Normally they would use a pump puller to pull the pump up out of the ground, but this is a job where that was not an option, as the pump puller is a big tool. The second was where they were going to pull the hose that attaches to the pump to, since my basement is only so big, and normally the hose if 100-200 ft long and does not easily bend. They needed a straight shot. Luckily I have back stairs, and they were able to use those stairs...not that they needed them. They started the pulling process, only to find that the well is only 40-50ft....maybe. I have hose longer than my well is deep. When the plumber who was at the well told the other guy to stop that the pump was out, the other guy said...."There's no way". I always wanted to know how deep that well was, but would have preferred to know on my own terms, not like this. Well, at least within the next hour I should be back with water. After cutting the grass, all I want to do is to take a nice long hot shower.